28/07/13 | Atomic Cinema: The Happiness of the Katakuris (2002, Japan)

Once again, the day is saved, thanks to free cinema! Amsterdam’s underground cinema Godfather Jeffrey Babcock will be back in the Vondelbunker this Sunday with a very special screening of the wonderful film The Happiness of the Katakuris. In his own words:


(Katakuri-ke no kōfuku)
Directed by Takashi Miike
112 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles


Japanese director Takashi Miike (Audition) is probably best known for his darkly violent creations, and in this film he takes a detour away from his typical gut-wrenching brutality but retains his sharp sense of black humor to bring us a film like no other he has ever made…. a horror-musical blending together elements of “The Sound of Music” with bizarre and delirious dream sequences.


The Katakuri family wants desperately to be a normal family, and has just opened their guest house in the mountains. Unfortunately their first guest commits suicide…. and in order to avoid trouble they decide to bury him in the backyard. Things get way more complicated as more and more guests die in unfortunate ways and the graveyard in the back starts to fill up more and more. Woven into this situation are an array of crazy family dramas and of course an absurd love story…. resulting in something like a kitsch-overload.


There is an incredible freedom in the way that director Miike is allowed to create his films in Japan- and here he perhaps exercises that freedom stylistically more than in any other film he made. It consists of a bizarre mix of straight melodrama, clay animation, black comedy, kitsch slapstick, zombie films and even musical and dance numbers. In the end what comes out of this “organized chaos” is, in a way, a very weird feel-good black comedy.


Watch the wacky preview? …. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw5fWqmP6fY


(The nuclear fallout bunker under the bridge in the Vondelpark…. near the old filmmuseum)
Doors open at 20:30, film at 9
Entrance: free